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Unsupervised inmate shuts down prison IT system

The computer system at a British prison was shut down entirely this week, after prison officials asked a convicted cyber criminal to reprogram it.

Douglas Havard, who is serving a six year prison sentence at Ranby Prison in Nottinghamshire for his part in a £6.5m ($10.38m) hacking and phishing scam, was asked to take over a project to create an internal TV station using the jail’s computer network.

The 27-year-old was, according to the Sunday Mirror, left unattended by guards despite being afforded access to the prison’s network. He went on to reset a series of passwords that locked out anybody else that attempted to use the system.

Prison bosses were forced to call in computer security consultants in order to fix the problem, with Harvard being put into segregation as punishment for the incident.

The blunder emerged a week after the Sunday Mirror revealed how an inmate at the same jail managed to get a key cut that opened every door.

A Prison Service spokesman told the Sunday Mirror that the breach was being investigated, claiming: “Prisoners are not allowed unsupervised access to computers. The prisoner was not able to access records of any other prisoners.”

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